Aker Kvaerner wins major contracts

Norwegian industrial concern Aker Kvaerner said Friday it had won a contract to help build a new gas plant in the US.

Norwegian industrial concern Aker Kvaerner said Friday it had won a contract to help build a new gas plant in the US. Just hours later it announced another huge contract, for a new cruiseship at a yard it controls in Finland.

The jobs come as welcome additions to Aker Kvaerner's order book, since the company has been struggling to deal with a poor market and leftover losses from its Kvaerner unit.

The gas deal involves Aker Kvaerner subsidiary Kvaerner Songer in the US and is worth nearly NOK 2.2 billion (USD 300 million). Kvaerner Songer will work with Hitachi America in connection with construction of a gas plant in Iowa.

The plant is due to be finished in 2007.

Friday was a good day for Kvaerner. It could also confirm an order from Royal Caribbean Cruises for a new cruiseship at its Kvaerner Masa-Yards in Finland.

The vessel will be part of the new Ultra Voyager class, even larger than the Voyager ships built earlier by Masa-Yards. The 18-deck vessel will be able to accommodate 3,600 passengers and will cost around NOK 5 billion.